We all know one of these people. They are the ones, who always greet you with a smile, a firm handshake, and an embrace. Their good nature and sense of humor are contagious. It is in their DNA to connect with others in a friendly, disarming manner. This is the epitome of Shawn Scanlon (https://www.linkedin.com/in/esperp/). Shawn is a 1998 graduate of Michigan State University, with a Bachelor’s of Science in Computer Engineering and one of the principle founders of Global Systems Integrations, Inc. (www.getgsi.com) AKA GSI. GSI, under the three principle owners, is rightfully ranked as one of the top consulting and managed services firms within their core competencies.
Early on in Shawn’s professional development he worked in small companies with the role of “Network Administrator”. He did not wait until he was done with his degree to enter the workforce as a IT professional. As many of us who grew into our IT careers starting in the 1990s through today, we all know that this kind of role in a small to mid-sized company almost always entails tasks and duties beyond the title. So, yes Shawn learned and was involved in building out networks for corporate computing, but he was also instrumental in implementing data centers, building web-site content, developing and supporting software solutions (i.e. CAD, home-grown towing and transportation solutions, etc.), and mapping out IT services for corporate acquisitions.
In the year 2000 Shawn was hired at JD Edwards, went through their 2 week “Expedition: Install and Configure B7331” immersion training, and became a Configurable Network Computing (CNC) consultant in the mid-west region for JD Edwards. Shawn quickly realized that as someone beginning in this role, he did not have all the answers, and needed help along the way. Clients were paying a significant amount of money for the job that was expected to be completed with efficiency and effective results. This is the time where his network within the JD Edwards community had it foundation. Shawn is quick to give credit to individuals like Chris Haraf (https://www.linkedin.com/in/chris-haraf-b4261a5/) who would always answer when called, Michael Guerra (https://www.linkedin.com/in/michael-guerra-621695/) who had written many of the initial technical documents for OneWorld CNC and also answered whenever his phone rang, and Gurbinder Bali (https://www.linkedin.com/in/gurbinderbali/) who was instrumental in helping Shawn understand the nuances with the HTML installation and configuration. This is just to names a few of the many individuals who Shawn looks to as keys to his success.
Shawn took the step, in 2004 to become an independent CNC consultant under the company name of Enterprise Solutions Providers. As a sole proprietor, he learned some valuable lessons about business. Many of those took him out of his comfort zone and he had to learn to make sure he found a way to get the tasks done, build relationships, document processes, and connect with others who needed the skills he provided. He also found the value of partnerships. In 2006 he partnered with John Basset (https://www.linkedin.com/in/john-bassett-a23328111/). In this partnership, John and Shawn built a small business, hiring a handful of consultants and some administrative help. In July 2008, Shawn and John expanded the partnership and join with Kevin Herrig (https://www.linkedin.com/in/kevin-r-herrig-ab8292a/). These three are the principle founders/owners of GSI as it is today.
Currently as Executive Vice President of GSI, Shawn is working to help expand GSI’s consulting and managed services offerings for NetSuite. I would highly recommend going out to the GSI website (https://www.getgsi.com/netsuite-webinars) to see some of the exiting things GSI is doing with this emergy practice.
When asked about success stories, he wanted to share some key lessons learned from the successes he has experienced. His success was more about the people with whom he had connected and less about his own accomplishments. Here are some lessons Shawn shared from successful experiences:
If you want your team to succeed, help them find solutions to difficult problems and let them take all of the credit...help others become the subject matter experts
Be persistent in seeking to find the resolution to those technical issues that others cannot seem to locate, and do not hesitate to escalate issues as necessary
Finding the right people with whom to work; make sure they share your vision and passion, are compatible with your team, and driven by a desire for excellence
Understand that difficult times will arise and there will be struggles, some struggles may seem insurmountable, stick to what you know is right, through it all
Be willing to take risks and allow others to push you beyond what you thought was possible
As GSI’s NetSuite practice grows, Shawn has been given the opportunity to lead that charge. Knowing that there will be many lessons to learn, he is excited by what the future has in store. This is just one more example where he gets the opportunity to take a risk, find the right people, help others be successful, and guide those who seek to find resolutions to difficult problems.
Shawn credits many people who have mentored him. He looks to John Bassett who took the initial leap-of-faith to partner with Shawn as he left JD Edwards. John and Shawn invested together in ESP and began hiring their first employees. Chirs Haraf and Michael Guerra spend countless hours with Shawn early on in his career as a CNC at JD Edwards and was critical in helping him overcome the obstacles he had learning JD Edwards from scratch. Kevin Herrig is the catalyst that pushes Shawn out of his comfort zone, provides mentoring and helps him to succeed. Additionally, he credits David Telford (https://www.linkedin.com/in/dwtelford/) as the manager that took a chance and hired him on at JD Edwards in 2000 when Shawn had never heard of a JD Edwards as a product and didn’t even know an AS/400 existed.
You can learn more about Shawn by following him on LinkedIn and going out to www.getgsi.com to see what is going on these days at Global Systems Integrations, Inc.
To follow the author on LinkedIn - https://www.linkedin.com/in/toddrthomsen/
For more information on the GSI where Todd is a Sr. Client Success Manager - https://www.getgsi.com/